The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2827  Wednesday, 12 December 2001

From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Dec 2001 18:46:28 -0800
Subject: 12.2812 Re: Hermia
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2812 Re: Hermia

Graham Bradshaw suggests we look at

>Just stirring. But so far as Shakespeare's play is concerned, the
>question is whether Shakespeare understood the Scottish system of
>tanistry. Perhaps he believed that Banquo was a historical person (not
>an invention to bolster the Stuart/"Steward" claim: see the huge chunk
>of Holinshed that is omitted from "Shakespeare's Holinshed", which poor
>Shakespeare couldn't consult.)

Isn't _Shakespeare's Holinshed_ a set of excerpts, whereas our man would
have had access to the full original?

In any case, the question isn't whether he understood the system of
Scots succession, but whether he sympathized with it, or calculated that
his audience would sympathize with it.  Which would make a better play?
To set up the assassin as a nearly unconscious freedom fighter, or to
adapt the setting to the assumptions of the audience?

>Rosse promises Macbeth that his new title is merely
>"an earnest of a greater Honour"--which doesn't materialise. Editors
>have always been strangely silent on this point.

Maybe it never materialises because Macbeth kills his would-be


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